Posts Tagged ‘Five-fold Prayer’

Lead me, guide me

September 8, 2014

Psalm 143--10

Psalm 143:10 (KJV) is the source of the Verse of the Day for September 8, 2014:

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.

The verse is rendered this way in the New Living Translation (NLT)

10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward
on a firm footing.

This verse brings to mind a previous blog entry which was part of a series of posts inspired by a statement that explains what occurs when we find ourselves in perplexing, painful situations where we seemingly by no means desire to be.

During such times, we ask ourselves, “Why am I here? How did I get here? God, what are you doing? What are you trying to teach me?” We recognize that God does everything on purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Romans 8:28). He is directly involved in every situation, and He is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.”

I took those five verbs and put them into a request, a petition, a personal prayer to God. God becomes the initiator of the action, and I become the object of his action. In a teaching series I examine each of the verbs with examples from the Old Testament and New Testament, as I offer this a Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me—Inspect Me—Correct Me—Protect Me—Perfect Me. I close each teaching with a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb. Here is the first of the series: “A Five-Fold Prayer: Direct Me”:

Direct: to lead or to guide straight, as toward an object

O.T.: to lead, guide gently, softly and with care, as a shepherd guides his flock;

to lead or to guide; most frequently of God who leads men.

One of the first scriptures that I committed to memory is found in Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Growing up in the Church during the 1950s, I recall a popular Gospel song that was also an expression of a prayer to God, asking for His guidance: “Lead Me, Guide Me”

Jeremiah 10:23 also reminds us that we cannot direct our own steps:

O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

One of my all-time favorite gospel songs related to this desire for God to guide and direct us is “Order My Steps in Your Word”:

Two verses from the New Testament are part of benedictions that close out Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 3:11:

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

II Thessalonians 3:5:

And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

I close the teaching with this psalm rendered as a prayer:

Direct me

Prepare the way, straighten my path, order my steps,

Shine your light upon me that I may not stumble,

That I may not walk in the light of my own sparks,

But illumine my way with the lamp of your Word.

Lord, direct my heart into the love of God

And into the patient waiting for Jesus Christ.

Raise me up in righteousness and direct all my ways.

I begin my prayer and say, "Lord, direct me. . ."

I begin my prayer and say, “Lord, direct me. . .”

A Five-fold Prayer: Perfect Me

February 8, 2012

The Verse of the Day for June 29, 2014 is found in Psalm 138:8 (King James Version):

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

This particular verse with its use of the verb “perfect” also brings to mind a previous blog entry which was part of a series entitled a “Five-fold Prayer.” I am re-posting the entry “A Five-fold Prayer: Perfect Me,” the final devotional which is posted below:

Slide12

This blog entry is the final part of “A Five-fold Prayer,” a series of commentaries based on a statement regarding the ways of God when we find ourselves in perplexing situations that challenge our faith. In such instances, God is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.” After hearing those words, I took those five verbs and formed them into a request, a petition, a prayer to God for me.  I asked God to become the initiator of the action, and I would become the object of his action. I also examined each of the verbs with scriptural illustrations from the Old Testament and New Testament and composed a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb at the end of each section related to each of the five verbs. In writing out my personal application of the scriptures, I also incorporated music related to the verbs as well. In Part 5 I ask God to “Perfect Me.”

“Perfect” can be used as an adjective or a verb in various places in the Bible.

In the Bible the word “perfect” can be used as an adjective or as a verb, as defined in the following manner, with some of the verses where the term is used:

Perfect:

In the Old Testament, as an adjective, “perfect” means: “blameless, upright, righteous; the proper action of simplicity, sincerity, absence from guile or evil intention.”

As a verb the term means “to complete, to make full, perfect or entire; to finish.”

II Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…

Psalm 37:37

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

 

II Chronicles 16:9 and Psalm 37:37 comprise the lyrics to a this song:

 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

To show Himself strong, to show Himself strong,

To show Himself strong in behalf of them

Whose heart is perfect toward Him.

The man with a perfect heart is whole and complete:

Mark the perfect man and behold the upright,

For the end of that man is peace.

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro,

Throughout the whole earth

 

In the New Testament, “perfect” is translated from the Greek word teleios. As an adjective it means–describing what has reached its end; complete, perfect, full, fully grown, wanting nothing, with special reference to the end for which it was intended.” 

As a verb teleioo means—”to complete, make perfect, so as to be full, wanting nothing, to bring to a full end.”

Hebrews 13:20-21:

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

James 1:2-4:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I Peter 5:10:

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

II Corinthians 13:11:

Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

 Perfect me

What I lack fulfill, that I may not come up short.

Bring to maturity any deficiency

That I may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Make me perfect in every good work to do your will.

May the inner spaces of my heart catch your eye.

As you scan the vast landscape of this green planet,

May you see the perfect man you asked me to be.

“Change My Heart, O God” (Hillsong) is an appropriate song for this final section of my “Five-fold Prayer”:

“Something Beautiful,” written and performed by Bill and Gloria Gaither, expresses musically my ultimate desire which is also God’s desire for transformation.

“Have Thine Own Way” is another hymn that I learned as a child and continued to draw strength from as I grew into adulthood.

 

Conclusion

To conclude expounding upon the verbs that encompass my “Five-fold Prayer, I have formed a new compound verb—a neologism—as I make one final request, “Dir-ins-cor-pro-per” me, Lord:

Lord, I pray that you

direct me,

inspect me,

correct me,

protect me,

perfect me

That I may know you and the fullness of your grace.

This I pray in the name above all names, Jesus Christ. Amen.

I combine all five verbs to form a new compound verb used to conclude my Five-fold Prayer.

 

A Five-fold Prayer: Protect Me

February 7, 2012

In the fourth part of my Five-fold Prayer I ask God to "Protect Me."

This blog entry is the fourth part of “A Five-fold Prayer,” a series of commentaries based on a statement regarding the ways of God when we find ourselves in perplexing situations that challenge our faith. In such instances, God is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.” After hearing those words, I took those five verbs and formed them into a request, a petition, a prayer to God for me.  I asked God to become the initiator of the action, and I would become the object of his action. I also examined each of the verbs with scriptural illustrations from the Old Testament and New Testament and composed a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb at the end of each section related to each of the five verbs. In writing out my personal application of the scriptures, I also incorporated music related to the verbs as well. In Part 4 I ask God to “Protect Me.”

 

Using the verb "deliver" in place of "protect" which is not found in the KJV of the Bible

 

Protect: Since there is no word “protect” used in the King James Version, I used “deliver,” a word that has the following definition and is found in the following scriptures:

Deliver:

O.T.: to pluck out of the hands of an oppressor or enemy; to preserve, recover, remove; to deliver from danger, evil, trouble; to be delivered, to escape;

Psalm 31:1-4 and verse 15

31:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

2  Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me.

3  For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

4         Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

15  My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

 

The Greek word used in the New Testament is ruomai, translated to mean: “to draw or snatch to one’s self from danger, to rescue, to deliver.” This particular definition brings to mind a stanza from one of my poems that poetically expresses my testimony:

With lovin arms you reached way down

        And snatched me from Satan’s outhouse,

Sought me and flat-out rescued me,

          Fixed me up in my Father’s house.

“Why Don’t Somebody Help Me Praise the Lord?”

Other related scriptures include the following:

Matthew 6:13:

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

 

II Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

 

II Timothy 4:18

And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever.

This section also concludes with a psalm or poetic prayer to God:

Protect me

 As a child runs to safety in his father’s arms,

So I, too, run to you, “my shelter from life’s storms.           

Lord, I long to dwell with you in the secret place:

My buckler, my shield, deliverer, my fortress,

Strong tower, defender, who responds to my prayer,

For Lord, you are faithful, who will establish me

And protect me and deliver me from evil.

As a youngster, I recall singing in the Junior Choir and learning a number of hymns, one of my favorites being “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” Charles Wesley, the brother of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, wrote the lyrics to this classic composition:

 

Selah, contemporary Christian music group, offers a fitting song related to this entry, “You Deliver Me”:

 

“Your Deliverance Will Come” by James Bignon and The Deliverance Mass Choir is an energetic reminder of God’s faithfulness.

 At the end of January I posted a blog entry entitled “To the Rescue Anew” that was actually a lead-in to a reposting of an entry “To the Rescue,” a commentary on the rescue of the Chilean miners back in October of 2010.

A Five-fold Prayer: Correct Me

February 5, 2012

In the center of my Five-fold Prayer I ask God to "Correct Me."

This blog entry is the third part of “A Five-fold Prayer,” a series of commentaries based on a statement regarding the ways of God when we find ourselves in perplexing situations that challenge our faith. In such instances, God is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.” After hearing those words, I took those five verbs and formed them into a request, a petition, a prayer to God for me.  I asked God to become the initiator of the action, and I would become the object of his action. I also examined each of the verbs with scriptural illustrations from the Old Testament and New Testament and composed a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb at the end of each section related to each of the five verbs. In writing out my personal application of the scriptures, I also incorporated music related to the verbs as well. In Part 2 I ask God to “Correct Me.”

A definition of "correct" in the Old and New Testaments

In the Old Testament the verb “correct” is defined in the following manner, with some of the verses where the term is used:

Correct:

O.T.: chasten, chastise, to instruct, admonish; reprove, convince, rebuke

Job 5:17:

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

Psalm 94:12

Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

Proverbs 3:11

My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

In the New Testament we find different words translated “correct” along with some of the places where the verb is used. 

N.T.: paideuo—to bring up or rear as a child; to train and educate (to learn is to suffer) e.g. Jesus Christ learned obedience by the things that he suffered.

paideia—the bringing up of a child, especially its training, teaching, and education; discipline, correction 

Hebrews 12:5-11

5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?

 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.

9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!

 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. [Amplified Bible]

Psalm 119: 71-72
Sometimes something that appears to be bad can be good .

Psalm 119:71-72

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. [KJV]

“My troubles turned out all for the best—they forced me to learn from your textbook.  Truth from your mouth means more to me than striking it rich in a gold mine.” [The Message Bible]

The passage from Psalm 119:71-72 inspired a song with the following lyrics:

It is good for me that I have been afflicted;

That I might learn Your statutes,

To walk in Your precepts,

To keep Your commandments,

To follow as You teach me.

It is good for me.  It is good for me. 

It is good for me. It is good.

I have learned to love Your Word and Your ways.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted;

That I have been made humble,

That I have known both joy and sorrow.

In times of famine and in plenty,

That You have always been beside me.

It is good for me.  It is good for me. 

It is good for me. It is good.

I have learned to love Your Word and Your ways.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted;

That I might learn Your statutes,

To walk in Your precepts,

To keep Your commandments,

To follow as You teach me.

It is good for me.  It is good for me. 

It is good for me. It is good.

I have learned to love Your Word and Your ways.

It is good for me.  It is good for me. 

It is good for me. It is good.

I have learned to love Your Word and Your ways.

It is good for me to draw near unto You.

I have put my trust in You

That I may declare Your works

And always sing Your praises,

And give glory to Your Name.

It is good for me. It is good for me.

It is good for me. It is good.

I have learned to love Your Word and Your ways.

A trio of songs related to “Correct Me” follow, beginning with “Let Me Be Broken” by Bryan Duncan from the album “Strong Medicine,” particularly appropriate for “Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.”

Steve Green offers “The Refiner’s Fire” as an expression of my heart’s desire in this part of my “Five-fold Prayer”:

“Purify My Heart” is another expression of my desire:

This section closes with another psalm, a prayer to God:

Correct me

            As my teacher help me not to hasten each lesson.

            Even the times you chasten while drawing me near.

            Each time you admonish you demonstrate your love.

            Help me to learn not to resist the chastening rod,

            But may I yield toward your reproof and correction.

            ”It is good for me that I have been afflicted

            That I might learn your precepts,” may I also say.

A Five-fold Prayer: Inspect Me

February 2, 2012

Job 23:10-11 KJV

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

At the heart of the Verse of the Day for March 2, 2014 is the reality that when Job was tried, and indeed, he endured many hard trials, he believed that he would come forth as gold.  The idea of being tried or tested brought to mind a blog entry “Inspect Me” from a series called “A Five-fold Prayer: Direct Me-Inspect Me-Correct Me-Protect Me-Perfect Me. The second in the series is re-posted here:

Slide5

This blog entry is the second part of “A Five-fold Prayer,” a series of commentaries based on a statement regarding the ways of God when we find ourselves in perplexing situations that challenge our faith. In such instances, God is endeavoring to do one or a combination of five things: “Direct you; Inspect you; Correct you; Protect you; Perfect you.” After hearing those words, I took those five verbs and formed them into a request, a petition, a prayer to God for me.  I asked God to become the initiator of the action, and I would become the object of his action. I also examined each of the verbs with scriptural illustrations from the Old Testament and New Testament and composed a prayer/psalm inspired by each verb at the end of each section related to each of the five verbs. In writing out my personal application of the scriptures, I also incorporated music related to the verbs as well. In Part 2 I ask God to “Inspect Me.”

Inspect : Since there is no word “inspect” used in the King James Version,  I used “search” that has the following definition and found in the following scriptures:

A definition of the word “search” and accompanying scriptures

Psalm 139:1-5, 23-24:

O LORD, You  have searched me, and known me.

2  You know my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3  You encompass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

4  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, You knowest it altogether.

5   You have beset me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.

23  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I Chron 28:9:

9  As for you, Solomon my son, know thou the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off for ever.

Jeremiah 17:10:

I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

Romans 8:27-28

27  And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Inspect me

   Try Me

Search me, O God, and know my heart:

try me, and know my thoughts:

And see if there be any wicked way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Lord, Prepare me to be a sanctuary. . .   

 pure and holy, tried and true. . .

Purify my motive; assay my devotion;

weigh each desire, carat by carat, dram by dram.

In the refining fire of your furnace try me.

Test the mettle of my soul; scrape away all dross,

all debris that would adulterate my intents

and leave behind the purity of ore that I

may see my face reflected in the pool of gold.

I long to take the treasure of your precious Word,

securely hide it in the lock box of my heart

and as a faithful son, hand you the only key.

“Search Me, Lord” rendered by Brother Joe May, “The Thunderbolt of the Middle West,” the reigning male Gospel singer of the 1950s, embodies this prayer in song:

“While I’m down here praying, Lord search my heart” by Mahalia Jackson, the most celebrated female Gospel singer of her era, offers a similar request in song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQt7pOSQFm8

“Lord, Prepare Me to be a Sanctuary,” one of my all-time favorite songs of worship expresses the same desire revealed in Psalm 139 and other scriptures.

“Search me, O God,” part of David’s prayer to God and mine.